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March 8, 2023

Do I Need Drone Insurance in Canada?

The wonders of modern technology make our lives easier, don’t they? For example, drones, which continue to rise in popularity in both recreational and commercial settings, are often used to capture large-scale events. Some are even used for surveying, asset inspection, stockpile estimation, and security and surveillance.

In Canada, drones are considered aircraft. Therefore, the people who fly them for work purposes are pilots. Whenever you fly your drone, you’re sharing the skies with other aircraft. But there’s also a reason why businesses don’t parade their drones every day—that’s because they pose a hazard to people and property directly below their flight path.

As useful and convenient as they are, technology is far from perfect—and accidents can happen at any time. As a drone pilot, you might be wondering if you need drone pilot insurance when operating your aircraft. We’ll cover the answers and more in this blog, so keep reading!

Is Drone Insurance a Requirement in Canada? 

In Canada, having drone insurance isn’t a requirement for pilots but it is encouraged. In fact, the government recommends purchasing professional liability insurance to ensure the safety and protection of operators and the people around them.

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have existed for years now and their numbers still continue to rise. According to the Canadian Aviation Regulations, drone pilots must follow the rules that apply. In the document, it states that drone pilots have to carry a valid drone pilot certificate and must only fly drones that are marked and registered.

But before you can get your pilot certificate, you may need to provide proof that you have the appropriate insurance coverage to protect yourself from claims. Sometimes, insurance is also needed to attain some flight permits, which still depends on the area where you’re flying your drone.

If you’re an independent drone pilot, you’ll find that some businesses can impose restrictions, such as requiring operators to provide proof of insurance before hiring you.

A pilot operating an aircraft

Who Needs Drone Insurance? 

If you’re a certified and registered drone pilot, you need a comprehensive drone insurance policy that covers third-party bodily injuries, property damage, and equipment repairs or replacements. This is especially important if you use your aircraft for media coverage, special events, film and TV production, or professional surveillance for security purposes.

Additionally, many modern businesses use drones for aerial imagery and 3D mapping. Real estate agents use drones to capture aerial photos of the properties they sell. Wedding photographers also fly their aircraft to conveniently record the entire event. 

For all of these situations, it also means that the aircraft must fly above the areas where pedestrians could be walking below.

No matter how skilled of a pilot you are, when an unfortunate incident happens, it’s usually because it was out of your control. To mitigate the financial losses you’ll incur from these situations, you need to protect yourself and your business with an insurance policy

What Kind of Insurance Do You Need for a Drone? 

Since drones have become integral for businesses, it is important that you’re aware of the laws and regulations that surround UAVs. This includes the insurance policies you need to purchase. There are four types of insurance that commercial drone operators should consider:

Professional Liability Insurance 

This is recommended by the Canadian government itself. Professional liability insurance covers financial losses in case you damage someone else’s property or accidentally hurt someone with your aircraft. Additionally, most companies require this type of insurance to protect them from claims or lawsuits that arise from property damage or third-party injuries.

Hull Insurance 

This specialized insurance type helps pay for damages to the drone if it crashes. It will also cover the costs related to replacing the aircraft in case it gets lost. The importance of hull insurance is often overlooked or brushed off because many drones are inexpensive. However, if you have industrial-grade drones used for mining operations, for instance, having hull insurance would be very useful for protecting such expensive equipment. 

Cyber Liability Insurance 

Cyber liability policies give you coverage against cyberattacks. It’s important that you don’t overlook this aspect of your business because a cyberattack can result in severe damage to your devices. Malware could be downloaded that can delete your files or worse, release sensitive information of your clients to the dark web.

For instance, if a criminal manages to take control of your drone mid-flight, this policy can waive your responsibility for any damages resulting after the hack.

How Much Does Drone Insurance Cost? 

At this point, we’ve established that it would be a wise investment to get drone insurance in Canada. But what affects the pricing of the insurance you’re getting?

A drone flying in the middle of a city

Well, a drone insurance package is built with your business’s best interests in mind, therefore it is tailored to your unique needs. While we can’t give you an exact cost without further information about your business and what you’re using your aircraft for, you can expect to pay  anywhere between $500 and $1,000 per year, with a $1 million coverage limit for a drone insurance package. Meanwhile, hourly policies can be as low as $10 per hour.

More experienced pilots can expect to pay less. This is because a variety of criteria lowers or increases your rates, or even disqualifies you from obtaining a policy altogether. Depending on the area where you work, insurance providers will require commercial UAV operators to have a minimum number of logged flight time hours and proof that they hold a UAV license.

Pilots are required to log their maintenance hours to prove their drones are in good condition and that repairs are done correctly. Flight details should also be recorded. If not done properly, this could result in higher premiums.

Another risk factor that can influence an insurance provider’s decision will be the area where you’re flying your aircraft. Flying over open water or a remote area will present different hazards than a survey or inspection flight over a residential property.

Take Flight Without Worries With Contractors Insurance 

Contractors Insurance, an award-winning commercial insurance brokerage firm based in Ontario, is known for providing top-notch service to clients. Our team of experts stands ready to assist you with anything you need to know about drone insurance in Canada.

For more information about our personalized insurance packages or to get a quote, contact us today!


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